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The Dance
The Dance

24x36, acrylic, © 3/00.

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“The Dance” represents the Cherokee legend of why possums tails are bare…Long ago, Possum had a very beautiful furry tail that he constantly bragged about to all the other animals. The animals agreed that his tail was indeed beautiful, but they were very tired of hearing of its beauty. After much discussion, the animals devised a plan to rid them of Possums constant bragging.
Cricket (known as the Cherokee barber) was sent to invite Possum to a dance to honor his tail. Cricket was instructed to comb Possums tail until he went to sleep, then to cut all the hair from his tail and wrap it in a red ribbon…. telling Possum he must keep his tail wrapped until he arrived at the party.
When Possum arrived at the party, he was given the honor of performing a special dance to show off his beautiful tail. Possum began to dance. His tail was unwrapped and the other animals began laughing loudly. Hearing the laughter, possum looked around and saw his ugly bare tail. He was so embarrassed that he lay down on the ground and hid his head. To this day, all possums tails are bare. When confronted, they lay down and play dead because they are embarrassed about their bare tails.